Friday, April 28, 2006

Pre-E3 2006: Halo 3 at E3

I saw this on IGN and had to post for all of those diehard HALO fans.

"April 28, 2006 - With Microsoft, the rumors are always true. The next iteration in Bungie Studios' Halo series will appear at E3 2006 in video form at its Tuesday, May 9 news conference, IGN learned today from independent sources who recently spoke with Microsoft executives.

The video is allegedly two minutes long, although its contents weren't divulged. We're guessing a wild breathtaking battle on Earth. Knowing Microsoft, the publisher will want to show all real, in-game engine footage to counter Sony's fantastical CG videos from E3 2005. When Microsoft was contacted, the company issued its standard reply, "We don't comment on speculation and rumors."

E3 is where console manufacturers, publishers, and developers lay down their best hand for hopes of creating buzz and interest leading into the fall season. And E3 2006 is perhaps one of the most crucial for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, as each stakes their plot in the next-generation landscape.

Diehard Halo fans shouldn't be too surprised. Bungie is notorious for taking its time, and the game is not likely to come out until 2007. Microsoft's most valuable franchise has been out of the limelight since last year's Map Pack, a set of additional multiplayer maps for 2004's Halo 2. Microsoft has edged away from talking about the next Halo all year long, except to acknowledge Founder Bill Gates' cautionary statements to Sony, claiming that when Sony readies PS3, Halo 3 will launch day and date with it. Microsoft since retracted the statement, claiming Halo 3 will be ready when Bungie is finished.

Recently, however, the company has started to roll up its proverbial Halo sleeves again, acknowledging Halo 3's existence. Microsoft Game Studios' General Manager Shane Kim, in a conversation with New Zealand Website, said: "You mean the mythical Halo 3? I mean, it's silly to deny its existence when the chairman of MS (Bill Gates) announced it, but I have nothing to announce now, but expect there to be a significant announcement at E3."

You heard it. Expect first details, footage, and wild Halo fanboy Love come E3.



I was betrayed by my own Master who I am there to rescue. How could he do this to me? I save him from the emperor, who is also his brother, only to be betrayed.

I have been playing Jade Empire for the past several weeks. “The game's designers have crafted an entirely new and unique world inspired by ancient Chinese myths and legends. In the primeval, arcane setting of the Jade Empire, you'll train under your master's watchful gaze and learn the mystical and magical powers of ancient martial arts. You'll travel widely -- from the rugged mountains of the Land of Howling Spirits to the luxuriant gardens of the Imperial City--as you make your way on your quest. Powerful human and supernatural foes will stand in your way, but with practice you'll learn to overcome your most powerful enemies. And as you venture forth through Jade Empire, you'll be challenged with questions that will ultimately lead you to discover the darkest secrets of the world.

The game begins when a series of sinister events disrupt the peaceful harmony of an isolated martial arts school. You'll be forced to confront a slew of shady characters, evil warlocks, demonic beasts, and other atrocious villains that protect the Jade Empire's deepest secrets.
Jade Empire offers you the chance to become a martial arts master. You'll assume the identity of one of six different characters and begin developing your skills. Each character has a unique appearance, voice, and fighting style. As you progress in the game, you'll decide whether to adopt the ways of good or evil, and your choices will affect your reputation.

Jade Empire matches the frenetic pace and fury of Hong Kong cinema. As you progress in the game, you'll upgrade your combat ability and learn new, specially tailored moves for your character. Only by mastering your moves and defeating the most powerful enemies will you earn your place as a master in the world of Jade Empire.” – amazon

The graphics are stunning and the game is lots of fun. (up until this SOB killed me) Now I am a ghost with a mission.. KILL MY MASTER!!! (feel a little like Darth Vader)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Exchange Tip of the Month.

Did you know that you can add in all the holidays for the year automatically to your calendar? Here's how:

Outlook 2003:

  • Launch Outlook, Choose Tools -> Options -> Preferences tab, then click on Calendar
  • Options under the Calendar section and to the right.
    On the Calendar Options dialog box, click Add Holidays.
  • In the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box, check the countries or religions whose holidays you want to add, then click OK.

Outlook 2002 (XP):

  • Launch Outlook, Choose Tools -> Options -> Preferences tab, then click on Calendar Options under the Calendar section and to the right.
  • On the Calendar Options dialog box, click Add Holidays.
  • In the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box, check the countries or religions whose holidays you want to add, then click OK.

Outlook 2000:

  • Launch Outlook, Choose Tools Options, then click Calendar Options.
  • On the Calendar Options dialog box, click Add Holidays.
  • In the Add Holidays to Calendar dialog box, check the countries or religions whose holidays you want to add, then click OK.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Movie Review: Night Train Murders (1975)

In this dark tale from Italian cult horror director Aldo Lado, vacationing friends Margaret (Irene Miracle) and Lisa are forced to change trains due to a bomb threat. But their second train is just as dangerous: They get stuck in a section with coldhearted thugs Blacky (Flavio Bucci) and Curly (Gianfranco de Grassi), who begin to terrorize the girls. Can Margaret and Lisa fend off the killers until their train reaches its destination? - Netflix

This foreign flick, I found to be “just okay”. It is all about these two girls on this train getting brutalized by these thugs. There is not much nudity, but there are some rape scenes. They are not very graphic, I have seen worse, but still a bit disturbing. The bad guys get comeupins in the end. It really is not that good of a movie, so don’t bother even renting it. However, it is better than the Terror Within as far as plot and character development goes.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Movie Review: Rosemary's Baby (1968)

“When young housewife Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) turns up pregnant -- courtesy of her husband (John Cassavetes) -- eccentric neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet take special interest in the mother-to-be. Little does Rosemary know that in cahoots with the Castavets -- witches with designs on Rosemary's baby -- her struggling actor spouse has literally made a deal with the devil. Ruth Gordon's performance as Minnie earned her an Academy Award. “ – Netflix

I remember seeing this movie many many years ago and being creped out, though I do not know why now. But, it still gave me a chill while I was watching. Here is a movie that, unlike the Ring, makes you interested in the movie and constantly thinking about what it going on. The acting was really well done and I enjoyed watching the Rosemary’s Baby for the second time. I would definitely recommend it as a rental.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Lights, Camera, Action...

Last night we saw the Wiggles in concert at the Rose Garden. For those who do not know what a Wiggle are… “The Wiggles are an Australian band that specializes in creating and performing music for preschool children.” They are four grown men dancing, singing, and generally making fools of themselves for the pure joy of children. Oh, lets not forget Wags the dog, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the dinosaur, and Henry the octopus (other characters that make up the show). It is all done in fun and the kids really enjoy it. And, it is far more educational than some of the TV shows for kids. There were more people than I would have expected to show up for a Wiggles concert, being Easter Sunday. Our seats were fairly good, left side middle, 3rd row from the front. Both Allie and Lexi really enjoyed the concert. They were both being “spaztic” with dancing, screaming and jumping. There was a lot of pointing and yelling, but it was all in fun. The show was about an hour and half long, with no intermissions. This was kinda long for Allie, since near the end she wanted to go potty. She was able to hold it, until it was over. All in all, it was a good time… even though, daddy had a headache by the end.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Movie Review: Terror Within (1989)

“It's the post-apocalypse, and the world has been changed by "the accident," a chemical warfare experiment gone awry. At an isolated subterranean complex, a group of people survives because they were able to get the antidote for the illness. They rescue a surface survivor from the gargoyles, who unfortunately had time to impregnate her, and when the "baby" is born and escapes into the ventilation ducts, they begin experiencing an attrition problem.” – imdb

I rented this, since I like alien sci-fi/horror movies from all time periods. This was a SHAMELESS attempt to rip off Alien. I really enjoy the Alien series of movies, but this movie SUCKS!!! I felt robbed and spent more time using the fast forward button than was at all reasonable. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. It is not the worth the film it is on.

Today’s Zen Quote

Today’s Zen Moment -

It does not matter how you play the game,
As long as you paid for it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Don't blame me for your own stupidity

I got some down right nasty email from someone from a company that I used to work for (which will remain nameless). What I gathered from this email is this person was blaming me for them getting fired. Just as a side note, it was poorly written. I would almost say that this person was drunk and had too much time on the computer or that English was a third language. At this company, I was in a position where I had to, on several occasions, tag several people for doing something that was against corporate policy. Apparently, it is my fault that they were fired. It was also my fault that they got caught. Here is a thought.. Don’t be stupid! Don’t send porn through the email server or store it on the network drive! Don’t send code to your personal or hotmail email address! Don’t be STUPID and don’t blame me for your own stupidity. I am sorry that you got fired for it… okay.. maybe not. It was my job! If you have to blame someone, then try looking in the mirror.

I realize that this person is angry and needs to blame someone for their own errors in judgment. However, take responsibility for your own actions and be accepting of the consequences for those actions.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Got a new PC at work

Well, it has finally happened. I just got a new computer here at work. I guess that I am no longer the FNG and they have decided to provide me better equipment. With all fairness, my workstation is great (P4 - 2.5 with 768megs of Ram), but my monitor sucks. It is an old NEC “Superbright” MultiSync 15 inch. Everyone that comes into my cube can not believe the size of my monitor. I just shrug and continue on working. But, all of that has changed. I have a new P4 (with HyperThreading) – 3.2 with a 1 gig of Ram, 80 gig hard-drive... It is nice, faster than what I have got at home, but I still have the piece of sh*t monitor. Hopefully, that too will change. Time will tell.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Netflix and Blockbuster battle

Netflix filed suit against Blockbuster for infringing on its “rental queue” patents. This patent is the process of DVD wish lists (queues), as well as some other automated features that is provided to the customer to help them pick and save their selections. Click here for the full story:

I am a big fan of Netflix DVD on-line rental service, being a member since 2001. However, having Netflix sue Blockbuster is ridiculous. This is simply a case of Netflix flexing its muscles and picking a fight with the one of the biggest kid on the playground. DUDE.. Give it up… before you get hurt.

Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) is the world's largest online DVD movie rental service, offering almost 4.2 million members access to more than 55,000 titles. Our appeal and success are built on providing the most expansive selection of DVDs; an easy way to choose movies; and fast, free delivery.

BlockbusterFor only $17.99 a month (plus taxes) you can rent all the movies you want. Have up to 3 DVDs out at a time. Keep the DVDs as long as you want. When you're done with a DVD, just send it back in the provided postage paid envelope. We'll send you another selection from your rental queue. Keep your queue full and keep the movies coming.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Cirque Du Soleil Varekai

Last week, Liz and I were treated by her parents to spend a night out by ourselves, a rare occasion. They purchased two tickets for the Cirque Du Soleil show Varekai on Thursday at 8pm. They came by, handed us the tickets and kicked us out of our own house. The kids loved having Nai Nai and Papa to baby sit them for the night, so they were not upset at all. Liz and I really enjoyed having time go out to a restaurant and get to eat hot food. Also, being able to eat at a reasonable speed and not being rushed by anxious kids wanting to go. For those who have kids understand that either you are feeding them, trying to them to eat, or getting food taken from your plate by a little fork. We went to Chevy’s, a Tex-Mex place that we enjoy. I treated myself to a raspberry margarita and fajitas, which I don’t normally get because of the hot plate next to the kids.

On to the show, parking wasn’t bad, $10 bucks. But, I was happy to pay to park in a place that was supervised. This show is not in a place that is really that safe after dark. Liz and I were really surprised that the show was this packed on a Thursday. The seats were a bit uncomfortable, especially having a strange guy sitting that close next to me, made me feel a little uncomfortable. The show was AWSOME!!! I thought that this was the best traveling show that I have seen to date. Last years was not very good, at least, I was not impressed. As you are being lead to your seats, you had to keep a sharp eye for an “attendant” (performer) that takes you around the stage, over seats, on a tour of the backstage, then sits you down hell and gone from where you started or should be. I did not want to be picked on, again… So, I watched to make sure that we were not their next victims. However, it is fun to watch other people being lead around by these clowns. The show itself was about 2 hours long and it went by so fast. I was enjoying myself so much that I just did not want it to stop. Between you and me, there were some mighty sexy performers that made the experience even more enjoyable.

There was one accident by one of the male performers, where he slipped and hurt his favorite muscle. Every guy in the place felt his pain. I just responded to my wife, after her little smirk at me, “I guess he does not bend that way, either..” Speaking of bending, it is incredible that a person can bend and pretzel themselves in those “positions”. I am sorry, but I have a spine, it does not do that. There was this woman that could bend herself backward and fold her legs over her shoulders. I just sat there in amazement, not sure what I am looking at. “OUCH, that has got to leave a mark!” was the only thing crossing my mind.

So, All in all, Great Show – Great Music – Great Performances – Great Time. If you have a chance, defiantly go, it is well worth the money.